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Journal 2018 - WHS Publication #105

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Journal 2018 - #105

The leading article in this issue of the Journal is by Edwin Clarke. He recalls those days, not so long ago, when parsonage families relied on furnishings provided by the local Circuit. Edwin probes the experience of being dependent on the good will of the Circuit. At times amusing, at other times poignant, the article reminds us of the degrees of generosity that were encountered. As ministers stayed longer in appointments, and stipends increased, it was surely time for families to acquire furnishings of their own choice.
Trish Rossiter offers an interesting article on her search for her missionary ancestor Thomas Skinner. She describes the challenge she faced in researching Thomas, and her enthusiasm in the pursuit. The discoveries that she made add to our understanding of mission history. We look forward to the publication of her extended book-length study.
As the Treaty of Waitangi continues to be discussed in Aotearoa New Zealand, Gary Clover gives us an insight into the dynamics around the signing of the Treaty at Mangungu. The background to the Treaty is outlined and the contents of the speeches enable us to hear again the issues that were debated at length on that occasion. Given the fact that Wesleyan missionaries played an important part in encouraging Maori chiefs to sign the document, Methodism continues to have a stake in seeing that the Treaty is honoured.
The Society is thankful for the outstanding service and dedication of two of our members who have died recently. The obituaries to Nancy Carter and Jill Weeks remind us of their deep Christian faith and commitment to the mission of the church.
Donald Phillipps has written a favourable review of Gary Clover's major work on the Wesleyan mission to New Zealand. Collision, Compromise and Conversion During the Hokianga Mission, 1827-1855 is a landmark study of the way the missionaries presented the gospel and the way Maori responded. It raises deep questions about the transmission of the gospel and the very nature of conversion.
One would hope that this substantial study will prevent the Wesleyan mission from being a footnote in future histories.
We are indeed grateful that Barbara and Phil Taylor were able to complete their   review of Patricia Jacobson's work on Sister Ada Lucy Lee, just before Phil. died.   
From diaries,journals and letters Pat has drawn together a wealth of documentation about the ministry of this much loved mission worker.
Peter Lineham's Sunday Best constitutes a milestone in the study of religion in this land. The subtitle 'How the Church Shaped New Zealand and how New Zealand Shaped the Church' suggests the approach that he has taken. Historians writing in the future should not be able to ignore the contribution of religion to our national life.

Terry Wall